Green With Envy
Honestly, I am totally anxious of this circumstances will happen to my first baby when my second baby arrives in the family.
It is about the overcoming jealousy in my child.
I started to think about this matter on the first day I had missed my period.
I have been with KiruaMi-cHan exclusively for 14 months; showered him with full love and almost everything!
90% of my daily routine is dedicate to him.
How should I told him that he will get a new sibling?
Maybe soon he will think that someone will replace his place in my heart?
Oh God, I am totally down with this matter.
I told my hubby, I can’t sleep well due to this problem.
He just so positively believe in me that I could be the great mother for this family, but deep inside my heart I keep asking myself; Could I?
My hubby presumed me to take extra rest and just think it in positive way (Oh, I wish this will be easy!) and he is willing to help me through this whatever happen.
I am truly grateful to my hubby for lending me a shoulder to cry on every single time I had bad feelings within me.
The next day, I try to note down some creative ideas that I consider it could be the solution plus I seek to find out some tips from books and the Internet.
Alhamdulillah, I had an endeavor out those tips and till today I still pin it in my heart to my little toddler and myself.
It’s really makes me happy when every time I saw my little toddler really take great care of his little sister and always says:
Don’t disturb her, I love my sister, “Go away!“, “No punish sister. I love!“.
When he use the word of “love“, I felt so touched by how a small toddler could describe love even nowadays the adult were lack of appreciating love.
I like to read about this topic from Dr. Goh Chee Leong, the Director of HELP’s Centre for Psychology.
Below are some tips how to help your older child deal with the jealousy they may suffer towards their younger sibling:
- Identify & validate their feelings
I find that this is the stage that I should told my child that is important that I understand why he feel jealous or threatened. I explained to him that “Envy: it is very natural emotions to have and even as adults, there are still feel the same”
The strategy is not to force them to stop feeling jealous and not to scold the envy out of them. I remain in guiding him to understand why he feel jealous and envious.
I sit down with him and have a good heart-to-heart talk. I start by saying “Mama know that you have been feeling left out because Mama need to spend much time with baby. I am sorry if Mama haven’t giving you enough attention, but Mama want you to know that Mama and Papa love you very much and you are very important to us. You are my baby boy, forever!“, I hold his hand every time I want to explain anything to him and after that, I will give him a kisses with big hug. It is very helpful to me.
- Give them sufficient personal attention
I don’t want my child to have the perception that the arrival of a new sibling will mean that my hubby and I will no longer pay attention to him.
The first few months I spend enough one-to-one time with my little toddler, I made efforts to set aside time to take him out alone, playing with him and having a good time together.
This sends the clear message that he is still very important to me and the new baby didn’t made him less noteworthy.
I constantly do any routine as simply the same with him just like before.
- Let them play role in looking after the baby
My toddler become very protective of his younger sister when we let he playing the role of a caregiver.
He started with simple things such as bathing and cleaning the baby, shading from the sun, take care from flies, mosquitoes or any insect, feeding together and put the baby to bed.
The goal is to include them rather that to exclude them from the “new baby” experience.
- Never compare them with the baby. NEVER!
For me, this is the worst thing that parents and other adults (Yes, nearest family and the community) can do is to fuel sibling rivalry by comparing their child with one another.
Strongly, I hate this matter and I do my best to avoid this things. Sadly, it is still a common practice in many Asian families.
Sometimes the comments will be very direct like “The baby is so good and quite, not like you, always running around” or “The baby is so clever to eat her food, not like you when you were younger“.
On the other hand, sometimes the comments can be more indirect and innocuous but still hurtful. For example, when adults have conversations about the children: “My younger one could walk when he was 11 months, but my older one took a lot longer”
Comparing one child with another sets the stage for a long-standing sibling rivalry that may be fueled by deep-seated acrimony and hatred. Those comments increase the child’s feeling of envy and comprehend their fears of losing their place in the family.
For me, every child is unique. We shouldn’t treat them all the same. We ought to appreciate them more.
- Generating a culture of inclusive love
Our rule as parent to create a culture in the family that embrace every member, both parents and children. No one needs to feel left out or second class.
We need to send a clear message to our children that there is enough love and attention for everyone.
- No shortcut in LOVE
As for me, I try to think first before I act and talk because my child is my first priority. I don’t want to take shortcut just to make myself feel easy but the impact are definitely worst for them.
Insya-Allah, may Allah s.w.t give us the strengths to do the best to our beloved family. Amin~